Friday Field Photo #168: Scorched Earth
During my last trip down to Chilean Patagonia we spent a day in nearby Parque Nacional Torres del Paine, which had experienced a devastating wildfire some weeks earlier. The fire burned more than 31,000 acres and is thought to have been started by a careless tourist.
By the time we went to the park the fire had been put out for several weeks, but the evidence was obvious. It was a surreal experience to walk around on a landscape that was very recently covered in a mix of low, dense (and sometimes prickly) vegetation and dense woods. With the exception of some charred roots, most of the ground cover bushes were completely gone. Many of the trees were still standing but were blackened and crisp, their leaves stripped.
The photo above is looking north toward the iconic Cuernos del Paine through what was a dense stand of trees. Here is a collection of photos from BBC of the wildfire itself.